Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 > Dysfunctional Cognitions about Sleep in Psychiatric Patients
Journal of Psychiatric Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000450318.14236.36
Articles

Dysfunctional Cognitions about Sleep in Psychiatric Patients

HUTHWAITE, MARK MB; MILLER, HELEN MBChB; MCCARTNEY, JUDITH BPharm; ROMANS, SARAH MD

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Abstract

The optimal management of sleep problems is a significant challenge, particularly in patients with psychiatric illness, because disturbed sleep is a known risk factor for relapse. This study used the short Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes Scale to assess beliefs about sleep in adults with acute psychiatric disorders (N=100) recruited from inpatient and outpatient clinics. The subjects showed highly dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes about sleep and held diverse opinions about, but had low confidence in, their own capacity for optimal sleep management. They did not report excessive daytime sleepiness. We conclude that individuals with acute psychiatric illness worry significantly about their sleep and hold more dysfunctional beliefs about sleep than people without psychiatric illness. The absence of excessive daytime sleepiness in this sample, although counterintuitive, is consistent with findings in other studies. Given that two thirds of the sample expressed interest in non-pharmacological strategies to better manage their sleep problems, cognitive reshaping therapies appear to have clinical potential as alternatives to hypnosedative medication once a comprehensive sleep workup has excluded a physical sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. Dysfunctional beliefs and high concern about sleep offer potential targets for psychotherapy. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2014;20:188–195)

Copyright © 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Inc.

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